The authors discuss the implications of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) for mental health services researchers, in particular the need to monitor and change prescriber behavior to encourage informed medication selection. Given the complexity and variability of response to antipsychotic medications in CATIE, use of restricted formularies is not the answer. Rather, services researchers should collaborate with service systems to develop interventions to identify questionable prescriber practices and develop interventions to change them. The CATIE results also suggest that some quality measures for antipsychotic treatment, such as the proportion of a population taking second-generation antipsychotics, need to be revisited by researchers. Also, because the CATIE findings highlighted the prevalence of cardiac and metabolic disorders among treatment populations and the potential impact of antipsychotics on these conditions, services researchers should use secondary data to monitor whether prescribers are providing appropriate screening and treatment. Given the health risks of some antipsychotics, services researchers should develop ways to identify individuals at risk, encourage behavior change among prescribers, and support informed and shared decision making about medications. Mental health services researchers can build relationships with multiple stakeholders, including service system administrators, service providers, and consumers, to help translate results from trials such as CATIE into policy and practice.
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